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Compliments from COPE to the Vocational Training Authority for the progress made in fulfilling the COPE recommendations given earlier

It was disclosed that 35000 students have been recruited this year targeting the domestic and foreign job markets.
 Recommendations to start new courses to match the job market.
 Instructions to increase the salaries of consultants and take steps to attract qualified people for the same.

The Sri Lanka Vocational Training Authority was summoned to before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on 09.08.2023 under the Chairmanship of the Hon. (Prof.) Ranjith Bandara, Member of Parliament, and the progress of implementing the COPE recommendations given on March 23 rd , 2023 and May 9 th , 2023 were reviewed.

 Mr. Nihal Ranasingha, Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Air Vice Marshal Prasanna Ranasinghe, Chairman of the Vocational Training Authority and others were called for this meeting.

 At the beginning of the committee meeting, COPE Chair congratulated the progress made by the Vocational Training Authority in accordance with the recommendations given during the previous COPE meetings. Thereafter, attention was paid to the following matters.

Compact Plan of the Authority

The Chair of the authority stated that after holding a preliminary workshop to prepare the composite plan of the authority, a composite plan was prepared for the year 2023-2027 and the Board of Directors approved it.

Vacancies in other posts including Director General

It was disclosed that steps have been taken to fill the vacant post of Director General and the interview will be held in the future. Furthermore, since the authority to give approval for recruitments has been reassigned to the Management Services Department, he informed to take necessary steps to fill the remaining 6 main posts and other vacancies.

Recruiting students aiming at the job market

The Chairman of the Vocational Training Authority said that 35,000 students have been recruited this year targeting the domestic and foreign job markets. It was also recommended to prepare a formal program to improve it and issue an internationally recognized certificate to the already skilled workers.

The Chairman of the Authority stated that they will work according to the job demand from South Korea, Oman and other countries and will pay more attention to the areas where the job demand is high. It was disclosed that an agreement with the Foreign Employment Bureau is currently in place and the data of nearly 2000 skilled workers has been provided.

The COPE Chair emphasized the need to direct the youth who drop out of school to proper vocational training. It was disclosed that a new program has been started by the Ministry of Education and the pilot project was recently held at Dharmaraja College in Kandy. Accordingly, it was recommended to start new courses to suit the job market.

Issues including salaries of course instructors

The Committee emphasized the need for these institutions to become self-revenue generating instead of being maintained by the treasury. (Fee Levying system) Furthermore, since the payments made to the consultants are not sufficient, attention was paid to problems such as consultants leaving the service. Accordingly, the following recommendations were made.

 To increase the salaries of consultants and to attract qualified people for it
 Using the money collected through the courses by the Authority itself to increase the payment of instructors (Fee Levying system)
 Initiate a new program to train counselors and give them some professional qualifications.

The COPE Chair instructed to take necessary steps in consultation with the Management Services Department to increase the payment of consultants.

State Minister Hon. Shantha Bandara, Members of Parliament Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, Hon. Jagath Kumara Sumithraarachchi, Hon. (Major) Sudarshana Denipitiya, Hon. (Mrs.) Rajika Wickramasinghe, Hon. Madhura Withanage, were present at the Committee meeting held.

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